Mystery over 'small change' to BBC's Salmond trial documentary

The documentary, presented by Kirsty Wark, was deleted and then re-uploaded to BBC iPlayer.
A small change was made to Kirsty Wark's documentary on the trial of Alex SalmondA small change was made to Kirsty Wark's documentary on the trial of Alex Salmond
A small change was made to Kirsty Wark's documentary on the trial of Alex Salmond

The BBC’s documentary on the trial of former First Minister Alex Salmond was removed and reuploaded to iPlayer following a “small change”, the BBC have said.

The documentary, presented by Kirsty Wark and broadcast on Monday August 17, followed the trial of Mr Salmond in March.

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The former First Minister was found innocent and acquitted of 12 charges of sexual offences while another was found to be not proven. A fourteenth charge was withdrawn by prosecutors during the trial.

However, it was removed from the BBC’s online streaming service iPlayer yesterday, before being reuploaded.

The BBC’s press office confirmed it had removed the documentary to make a “small change" but said it would not comment further on the nature of the change or why the change was necessary.

The public service broadcaster has come under criticism for the documentary from supporters of the former First Minister.

Douglas Chapman, the SNP MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, posted on Twitter: “Interesting that with 60 minutes to fill, Kirsty didn’t have time to interview just one defence witness.”

SNP colleague Angus MacNeil MP added: “The TV retrial seem to be all about the judge that Kirsty Wark wants to be. Reminder in the court said Salmond was Not Guilty.

Defending its documentary, the BBC told The National: “Alex Salmond has been a senior political figure for many years and his trial and subsequent acquittal was a major news story, which received extensive coverage at the time.

“The outcome was fairly reflected in the programme and would have been known to everyone watching.

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“Within that context, the film aimed to examine what impact the trial had had in terms of the me too movement and Scottish politics.

“A range of different views were heard, including authoritative contributors who made points in support of Alex Salmond, such as Jim Sillars and Kenny MacAskill.”

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